The importance of dental health

It might surprise you, but a quarter of adults in the UK have not visited a dentist in the last two years[1], and 1 in 4 admit they don’t brush their teeth twice a day[2]. Good oral health and regular dental check ups are essential to healthy teeth and gums. And it’s not just about having a dazzling smile. A trip to the dentist can identify early symptoms of serious problems such as mouth cancer or gum disease – something that’s been linked to bowel cancer, diabetes and even heart problems.[3]

Encouraging good dental health habits

Anything you can do to encourage regular check ups and a healthy oral routine has to be good. Especially when you consider that 1 in 20 people in the UK took time off work last year because of dental health problems. That equates to 1.2 million lost working days.[4]

Yet only 6 out of 10 employers allow their staff to visit a dentist during work hours, without losing pay.[5] On top of this, affordability is definitely an issue. In a recent study, 40%[6] of employees said the cost of seeing a dentist put them off going, but almost half would go more regularly if their employer provided a dental plan.

How do employers benefit from good dental health?

The number of employers offering dental insurance has more than doubled since 2009. It seems they’re catching on to the fact that by encouraging employees to visit a dentist regularly, there are far-reaching benefits, not just for the employee but for their business too:

  • Creating easier and affordable access to a dentist
  • Reducing employee absence due to dental problems
  • Preventing more serious conditions developing by identifying them sooner
  • Helping to ensure employees feel motivated and valued
  • Helping staff retention and employee engagement
  • Boosting productivity

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of encouraging good dental health, take a look at our infographic.

employee dental health and dental insurance

[1, 2] http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/
[3] http://reba.global/content/why-employers-should-play-their-part-in-the-oral-health-of-their-employees
[4] Oral Health Foundation 2017
[5, 6] https://www.cigna.co.uk/assets/docs/business/dental-plans/3560-white-paper-consumer-and-employer-research.pdf